Friday, February 13, 2004

Ability Grouping in Elementary Schools.

Ability Grouping in Elementary Schools. This article talks about grouping students together in the primary schools. This of course makes perfect sense. Try it and you will be accused of tracking though...

From the site:

Ability grouping of students is one of the oldest and most controversial issues in elementary and secondary schools. Hundreds of research studies have examined the effects of the two most common variants: between-class and within-class ability grouping. Between-class grouping refers to a school's practice of forming classrooms that contain students of similar ability. Within-class grouping refers to a teacher's practice of forming groups of students of similar ability within an individual class.

This digest summarizes the conclusions of Robert E. Slavin's 1986 comprehensive review of research on the different types of ability grouping in elementary schools. The purpose of his review was to identify grouping practices that promote student achievement.


In theory, ability grouping increases student achievement by reducing the disparity in student ability levels, and this increases the likelihood that teachers can provide instruction that is neither too easy nor too hard for most students. The assumption is that ability grouping allows the teacher (1) to increase the pace and raise the level of instruction for high achievers, and (2) to provide more individual attention, repetition, and review for low achievers. The high achievers benefit from having to compete with one another, and the low achievers benefit from not having to compete with their more able peers.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Children's Picture Book Database at Miami University

Children's Picture Book Database at Miami University. A keyword-searchable database of over 4000 picture books; includes abstracts, subject classification, and Web links.

From the site:

Welcome to our academic website which gives teachers, librarians, parents, and students a place for designing literature-based thematic units for all subjects.

Our site offers you:

* abstracts of over 5000 children's picture books;

* search capabilities for over 950 keywords, including topics, concepts, and skills which describe each book;

* weblinks for keywords so you can integrate your up-to-date content knowledge with our picture book resources.

Monday, February 09, 2004

The Supply and Demand of Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States.

The Supply and Demand of Elementary and Secondary School Teachers in the United States. This essay examines the supply-and-demand of teachers at several levels including elementary. I know one thing. Regardless, our salaries will never be equal to our educations.

From the site:

Policymakers and educational administrators consider several factors when making decisions about the need for teachers. The number of teachers required in a district depends largely on K-12 enrollment growth patterns, the pace of teacher retirement and attrition, and desired teacher-student ratios. Other factors, such as high immigration rates within the population or policies on reducing class size, also contribute to the demand for new teachers (Yasin, 1998). This digest will give a brief overview of teacher supply and demand in the United States, including projections for the next 10 years.


For the past ten years, the supply of public elementary and secondary school teachers has grown. Currently, the number of teachers in the United States is estimated to be 3.1 million, 2,666,034 of whom are teaching in public elementary and secondary schools (Snyder, 1999). Another 400,000 teach in private elementary and secondary schools (NCES, 1997). These estimates indicate an increase of about 17 percent since 1988. For the 1998-99 school year, there were 2,780,074 teachers in public schools. Over a million of those teachers (approximately 40 percent) were in the six states of California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Texas.

The number of elementary and secondary school teachers is projected to increase by 1.1 percent annually to a total of 3.46 million by the year 2008 (Gerald & Hussar, 1998). Elementary school teachers will increase to 2.05 million and secondary school teachers will increase to 1.19 million by 2008 (Gerald & Hussar, 1998). Similarly, elementary and secondary student enrollments are projected to increase to 54.27 million for the same time period. However, other factors such as teacher retirement and increased immigration will continue to increase the number of students, and thus the need for more teachers.